Radio Plays: Making Theatre for Radio and Podcast (DRA2305.01)

Dina Janis

A performance-based collaborative course designed for actors, writers/playwrights, sound designers, directors and folks interested in developing skills in this medium. In this performance-based course we will investigate plays as well as create plays that are designed to be performed via radio or podcast. Content will include original plays and monologues written by recent Bennington Alumni Playwrights currently studying or having graduated from many of the top MFA Playwriting Programs in the country, as well as professional playwrights who have offered to create content for this class. Material will also be drawn from a diverse canon of plays written for this form, such as The War of the Worlds, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and the radio plays of Samuel Beckett, Caryl Churchill among others. Individual as well as group projects will be assigned or created and students will be cast in various projects throughout the term which will be recorded on Audio. All projects being worked on during the term will be read and discussed by all of the students in the class so that there is a shared context for this performance/collaborative class format. Individually, students will concentrate on exploring their vocal instruments through reading and vocal exercise work, as well as developing a regular practice of reading out loud daily. Course work will involve extensive outside of class listening to examples of Radio Theatre and Podcast Theatre, reading, individual research and rehearsal, and maintaining a rigorous daily vocal practice. Each week- students will have the opportunity to work individually on their own, in rehearsal with others, and regularly in group sessions where work in development is shared and critiqued by the class.

Students may also choose to write and perform their own original radio plays, solo or with members of this performance ensemble. These original projects would need to be proposed and approved by the instructor prior to the beginning of the course term.

** This class will collaborate with Bennington’s own radio station-BRad for selected broadcasting of class project work.

Tools needed: Preferably- a device that allows the student to participate during shared class time via Zoom- a solid internet connection for group meetings/rehearsals. Device with ability to record work on audio. Headphones. Device that allows for downloading of digital written material/scripts. Private space- remote or on-campus- for rehearsal needs where the student can feel free to explore vocally, emotionally and physically.

It is possible for students to record class assignment individually as well as remotely if class attendance or rehearsal attendance is an issue as well as viewing recorded group class- though this is not ideal.

Prerequisites: None.
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 7:00PM-11:00PM (1st seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Drama
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